Technology transfer in the clean development mechanism

Heleen de Coninck, Frauke Haake, Nico van der Linden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Technology transfer is often mentioned as an ancillary benefit of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), but this claim has hardly been researched or substantiated. The question of technology transfer is important, both for developing countries in need for new technology and knowledge and for industrialized countries, as it provides export potential for climate-friendly technologies. To determine what technology transfer means, whether it is occurring through the CDM, and what the value of the associated capital flows is, this article examines technology transfer in the 63 CDM projects that were registered up until 1 January 2006. Technology hardware originates from outside the host country in almost 50% of the evaluated projects, particularly in non-CO2 greenhouse gas projects, wind energy projects, and a substantial share of the hydropower projects. Bioenergy and projects in the agricultural sector mainly use local technology. The investment value associated with the CDM projects that transferred technology is estimated to be around €470 million, with about €390 million coming from the EU. As the non-CO2 greenhouse gas projects had very low capital costs, the investment value was highest in the more capital-intensive wind energy and hydropower projects. We also found substantial soft technology transfer, but uncertainties for this finding are greater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-456
Number of pages13
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Clean Development Mechanism
  • Climate-friendly investment
  • Financial mechanism
  • Technology transfer


Dive into the research topics of 'Technology transfer in the clean development mechanism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this